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For Immediate Release
May 5, 2005
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
COMPLIANCE CASES MADE PUBLIC
 

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission has recently made public its final action on a three matters previously under review (MURs). This release contains only disposition information.

1. MUR 5158  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (f/k/a Handgun Control Inc.)

(b)   Brady Voter Education Fund (f/k/a Handgun Control Voter Education Fund), Mark A. Ingram, treasurer

(c)   James S. Brady

(d)  Sarah Brady

(e)   Bill Nelson for U. S. Senate, Peggy Gagnon, treasurer

(f)    Robb for Senate , Thomas J. Lehner, treasurer

(g)   Gore/Lieberman Inc., Jose Villarreal, treasurer

(h)   Stabenow for U. S. Senate, Angela M. Autera, treasurer

(i)    Carnahan for Senate Committee, Lisa L. Lindsey, treasurer

(j)    Handguncontrol.org (a/k/a bradycampaign.org)

(k)   Ashcroftandguns.com

(l)    Allenandguns.com

(m) Bushandguns.com

(n)   Mccollumandguns.com
  COMPLAINANT:

American Conservative Union, David A. Keene, Chairman

  SUBJECT: Disclaimers; corporate contributions; endorsement of federal candidate outside the restricted class of members; failure to accurately itemize contributions; failure to report contributions; contribution limitations for publicly funded Presidential candidate
  DISPOSITION:

(a-b)  Conciliation Agreement: $12,000 civil penalty*

          [re: disclaimers; corporate contributions; endorsement of federal candidate outside the organization’s restricted class of members]

(b)      Reason to believe, but took no further action*

          [re: failure to accurately itemize contributions

(c-d)  Took no action*

(e-f)   Reason to believe, but took no further action*

          [re: corporate contributions; failure to report contributions - in connection with press conference with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence]

          Took no action*

          [re: excessive contributions; failure to report contributions -  in connection with coordinating expenditures with the Brady Voter Education Fund]

          Took no action*

          [re: corporate contributions; failure to report contributions - with respect toe Dangerous Dozen web page]

(g)      No reason to believe*

          [re: corporate contributions; contribution limitations for publicly funded Presidential candidate - in connection with anti-Bush television ads and website]

          No reason to believe

          [re: corporate contributions; failure to report contributions - with respect toe Dangerous Dozen web page]

(h)      No reason to believe

          [re: corporate contributions; failure to report contributions - with respect toe Dangerous Dozen web page]

 (i)      No reason to believe*

          [re: excessive contributions; failure to report contributions -  in connection with coordinating expenditures with the Brady Voter Education Fund]

          No reason to believe

          [re: corporate contributions; failure to report contributions - with respect toe Dangerous Dozen web page]

(j-n)   Took no action*

            The complaint alleged that Handgun Control, Inc. and Handgun Control Voter Education Fund made prohibited, unreported, in-kind contributions to the campaigns of several candidates during the 1999-2000 election cycle. The prohibited contributions resulted from television advertisements, press conferences, and websites that purportedly were sponsored by the Brady respondents. The Brady respondents originally submitted a cursory response to the complaint in which they categorically denied all allegations. Over a year later, the Brady respondents supplemented their response and acknowledged that one particular advertisement failed to include a complete disclaimer. The federal candidate committee respondents each denied any coordination with the Brady respondents and requested that the complaint be dismissed. The Commission found reason to believe that the Brady respondents violated the Act in connection with advertisements, websites and press conferences that supported or opposed federal candidates in the 2000 election cycle and conciliated with the Brady respondents.  
  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from these matters are available from the Commission's web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5158 under case number in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     
2. MUR 5432  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Stephanie Summers-O’Neal for U.S. Congress, Deborah J. Thornton, treasurer

  COMPLAINANT:

Honorable Bennie G. Thompson

  SUBJECT: Disclaimers
  DISPOSITION:

Conciliation Agreement: $1,000 civil penalty*

            The complaint alleged that the Stephanie Summers-O’Neal for U.S. Congress Committee ran television advertisements that did not include an audio statement by the candidate. In the candidate’s response to the complaint, she admits that she was featured in radio and television advertisements that did not include the required candidate statements. The Commission found reason to believe the committee violated the Act.
  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from these matters are available from the Commission's web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5432 under the case number in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     
3. MUR 5479  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Friends of Wortman for Congress, Hedin E. Daubenspeck, treasurer

(b)       Wortman Central Air Conditioning Company

  COMPLAINANT:

Todd W. Singer

  SUBJECT: Corporate contributions; failure to report in-kind contribution; disclaimer
  DISPOSITION:

(a)   Reason to believe, but took no further action*

       [re: failure to report in-kind contribution; disclaimer]

       Sent admonishment letter.

       Took no action*

       [re: corporate contribution]

(b)   Took no action*

       [re: corporate contribution]

            The complaint alleged the Committee used the company’s corporate building as its campaign headquarters, used the company’s equipment, illegally used the company logo for the campaign logo, and that the committee’s website did not contain a disclaimer. The response maintained the campaign used 100 square feet of space in the building, which Mr. Wortman personally owned and he discounted the rent for this space. The Committee amended its disclosure reports to reflect this arrangement. The Commission found no reason to believe that a corporate contribution occurred, but did find that the committee did not accurately reflect the in-kind contribution for the rental payment. Because of the de minimus amount of the reporting violation, the Commission decided to take no further action and send an admonishment letter. The Commission found no reason to believe a violation occurred with regard to the use of office equipment. The Commission decided not to pursue the logo allegation as neither logo had been trademarked and it appears that the committee tried to differentiate the common item (the name Wortman) in both logos. The Commission found reason to believe the Committee failed to have a disclaimer on its website, but took no further action and sent an admonishment letter.
  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from these matters are available from the Commission's web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5479 under the case number in the Enforcement Query System. They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

*There are four administrative stages to the FEC enforcement process:

1. Receipt of proper complaint 3. "Probable cause" stage
2. "Reason to believe" stage 4. Conciliation stage

It requires the votes of at least four of the six Commissioners to take any action. The FEC can close a case at any point after reviewing a complaint. If a violation is found and conciliation cannot be reached, then the FEC can institute a civil court action against a respondent.

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